Kids crossing street on crosswalk

Photo credit: SFMTA

Seeking to improve safety for students and caregivers, the SFMTA completed Walk Audits at 10 San Francisco elementary, middle and high schools for both the 2019-2020 and the 2021-2022 school years. This program was delayed due to school closures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Walk audits collect information on any barriers to safe and comfortable walking around schools, involving infrastructure issues, and motorist, pedestrian and bicycling behavior. Selection of schools is based on collision data in the school area, the potential to increase walking among the student population and whether schools have capacity to participate in a walk through, including support from staff, parents, advocates and students. 
SFMTA recommended improvements based on common-identified issues for Mission High, Martin Luther King, Jr Middle, Tenderloin Community Elementary, Rosa Parks Elementary and Galileo High schools. These upgrades will help increase safety and reduce collisions and injuries around schools, as part of San Francisco’s Vision Zero policy to eliminate all traffic deaths in San Francisco.

Common identified issues at these schools include needs for: 

  • Increased 15 MPH school area signs
  • Increased advisory signage about schools and playgrounds
  • Better visibility at crosswalks so motorists 
  • Upgrading sidewalk ramps
  • Motorists stopping behind crosswalks and yielding to pedestrians on green/way lights
  • Leading pedestrian intervals time at any signal areas
  • Alleviating school and Muni bus congestion 
  • Shortening crossing distances and making intersections more pedestrian friendly

Near-term recommendations include:

  • Installing signs
  • Upgrading curb and roadway paint and markings
  • Adding speed bumps and raised crosswalks 
  • Adding signal timing modifications

Walk Audit reports will be provided upon request once they are completed. 

Walking Audits are a part of SFMTA’s School Area Safety Program, which also includes Safe Routes to School Projects and Schools Engineering.

Schools Engineering is an annual program within San Francisco's Safe Routes to School program, including the planning, design and construction of signage and pavement marking upgrades and traffic calming measures at various school sites citywide.

The project funding for $1.2 million includes traffic operations, signage, markings, and school loading zone traffic calming. The Transportation Authority's half-cent sales tax program for transportation funded this project. Construction will begin in early 2023 and is slated to be completed by March 2025. 
The SFMTA will conduct five school walk audits during the 2022-2023 school year, including at Lawton Alternative Elementary, Mission Preparatory Elementary, Paul Revere Elementary, Aptos Middle, and Chinese Immersion at De Avila Elementary. 


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November 10, 2021

Our board approved $925,000 in half-cent sales tax for transportation funds to support SFMTA’s Schools Engineering Program. Within San Francisco’s Safe Routes to School, this program will fund the planning, design, and construction of signage, paint markings, and traffic calming measures at schools throughout the city.